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Kiwanis Holiday Lights Donates $62,000 to 78 Area Nonprofits and 2017 Event Statistics

The Kiwanis Holiday Lights Board of Directors is pleased to announce $62,000 will be donated to the 78 non-profit organizations that assisted with the event this past year. “Although we had several rainy nights as well as some bitterly cold weather, that did not deter visitors from coming to the park and seeing the lights, said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights President.” We are happy to announce we will be donating $62,000 back to the 78 area nonprofits that helped us this year. That is our largest amount to date.”

New additions in 2017 included a 100-foot driving tunnel—double the 50’ tunnel of past years; an Ice Sculpting Contest; new songs were programmed in the “dancing lights” area; and a custom-created coloring book that was given to all children who visited Santa. In addition, several new lighted displays were donated by Kate Aase and Dennis Merritt of Morristown.

Additional statistics include:

  • Over 165,000 people attended the free event in 2017.

  • $62,000 will be donated back to the non-profit groups that assisted with set-up, tear-down and evening volunteer help during the event. ($60,000 in 2016, $60,000 in 2015, $50,000 in 2014, $40,000 in 2013 and $30,000 in 2012). Remaining proceeds will go to help offset expenses and to improve the event in future years.

  • 78 non-profit groups participated, providing 12,729 volunteer hours with 2,312 volunteers participating. Funds will be dispersed to the non-profit participants based on a formula that includes volunteer assistance with set-up, tear-down and nightly operations. Participating non-profit groups also received a tree that they could decorate along the walking path.

  • For the fourth year, visitors were encouraged to vote on their favorite non-profit tree this year. Winners were:

    • 1st place – Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society received a $300 prize

    • 2nd Place – Alzheimer’s Association $150 prize

    • 3rd Place – Minnesota Valley Action Council $50 prize

  • Over 4,000 children visited Santa and each received a free Kiwanis Holiday Lights Coloring Book

  • 48 Greater Mankato businesses participated as cash sponsors, showing continued support for the annual event

  • An additional 32 businesses participated as in-kind sponsors

  • 12.87 tons of food was collected by 16 area food shelves

  • The opening night parade was presented by the Mankato Area Derby Girls. The winner of the $500 float contest was Mankato Area Girl Scouts

  • Over 1.5 million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event, with the electricity costing less than $50 a night!

  • 33 area restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event, as well as during set-up and tear-down

  • Four live reindeer were again on display for the duration of the event.

  • The opening parade and lighting ceremony for the 2018 Kiwanis Holiday Lights season will be November 23, 2018.


83.4 tons of food has been collected for area food shelves

$302,000 has been donated to the non-profits who have provided volunteers

Over 770,000 people have visited the event to date


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